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Xiaomi India Head Teases ‘Desh Ka Smartphone’, Entry-Level Handset Likely

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Xiaomi India Managing Director on Twitter teased the launch of another handset in the country. Being promoted by the company as ‘Desh Ka Smartphone’ it is likely to be an entry-level model considering how heavily the mobile phone market of India is skewed towards the low-end segment. Incidentally, Reliance Industries’ Jio Phone was promoted as ‘India Ka Smartphone’ when it was unveiled in July this year, even though it is a feature phone. The upcoming Xiaomi handset, however, is unlikely to be a feature phone.

The cheapest handsets in Xiaomi’s portfolio so far have been priced at Rs. 5,999, so it will be interesting to see if the company will go below the Rs. 5,000 mark. There are rumours that it will be the Redmi 5A that will launch in the country. The handset was recently unveiled in China as an upgrade to the Redmi 4A, with metal-like matte texture and eight-day battery life. There is no official word about when the handset will be launched in India or its price in the country – it is priced CNY 599 in China (roughly Rs. 5,900).

Xiaomi became the country’s biggest smartphone vendor in October, holding the position jointly with Samsung, and claims to have sold 9.2 million units in the past quarter. It opened a new manufacturing facility in Noida, Uttar Pradesh earlier this week, which will be used to locally manufacture its power banks. The last smartphones launched by the company were the youth-focused Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite, which sold like hot cakes in the first sale. The company claims to have sold 150,000 units of the two phones within three minutes.

If the upcoming Xiaomi handset is indeed an entry-level model, it will be positioned below the Redmi Y1, which is priced at Rs. 6,999. Redmi 4A is still available in India too, at Rs. 5,999.